Down the Mall: Praise for Bendigo's cultural credentials

FOLLOWING on from The Age’s sensational coverage of the cultural revolution being sparked by Bendigo’s world-standard art gallery, we now note with more than an average amount of inner satisfaction, this recent headline in the Sydney Morning Herald:

“When to go to Bendigo - now! The food and cultural revolution has well and truly arrived in Bendigo.”

Parents trusting

With the thousands expected at this weekend’s Groovin’ The Moo music festival, it’s starting to look like Bendigo’s cultural creds spread right across the age spectrum.

But, as usual, these things come at a cost.

One of DTM’s dear neighbours reports that their young adult son and some chums are coming home for the Groovin’ thing and required some accommodation.

Proving that the love of a parent knows no bounds, they’ve handed the entire house to the prodigal son and are having their own weekend away elsewhere.

As they said in the Yes Minister series: Courageous move, Minister!

An achievable target

Was it just a coincidence that the City of Greater Bendigo only this week released the draft council plan and its overall target?

The target was to “make Bendigo regional Australia’s most liveable city”.

Judging by the gushing media coverage from Sydney, Melbourne and elsewhere lately, DTM suspects we can get out the “Mission Accomplished” stamp on that one about now.It seems like a footy team setting a target of winning the flag… the day after it won the flag.

Council-speak 

But what is “liveable”?

Is its opposite “terminal”?

The Council Plan spells it out: “A Liveable city needs to present well, be well maintained and there needs to be a high degree of satisfaction in living in the city."

The McCaughey Centre at The University of Melbourne has defined liveability as reflecting ‘the wellbeing of a community and comprises the many characteristics that make a location a place where people want to live now and in the future.

"This definition has been widely used by government and researchers in Victoria.”

We’d still argue we already have the big fat Gold Elephant stamp.

Let's aim high

Maybe we should get really ambitious and aim to be Australia’s most liveable city, not just the regional best? Ah to hell with it, let’s take on the world. Should be do-able.

Two such lists are published by Monacle, a global lifestyle magazine and the Economist Intelligence Unit. 

Monacle ranks Melbourne as second in the world (behind Copenhagen) and the EIU ranks Melbourne as Number 1 ahead of Vienna, with Adelaide in fifth, Sydney in seventh and Perth ninth.

Now, wouldn’t that be something to crow about?

(DTM specifically does not use any such lists which don’t include an Australian city in the top 10 as being self-evidently wrong.)

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